Hyundai Elantra Owners and Service Manuals

Hyundai Elantra: Air Bag - Advanced Supplemental Restraint System / Occupant Classification System (OCS)

Your vehicle is equipped with an Occupant Classification System (OCS) in the front passenger’s seat.

Main components of the Occupant Classification System

  • A detection device located within the front passenger seat cushion.
  • Electronic system to determine whether the passenger air bag systems should be activated or deactivated.
  • An indicator light located on the instrument panel which illuminates the words “PASSENGER AIR BAG OFF” indicating the front passenger air bag system is deactivated.
  • The instrument panel air bag indicator light is interconnected with the OCS.

The OCS is designed to help detect the presence of a properly-seated front passenger and determine if the passenger’s front air bag should be enabled (may inflate) or not.

The purpose is to help reduce the risk of injury or death from an inflating air bag to certain front passenger seat occupants, such as children, by requiring the air bag to be automatically turned OFF.

For example, if a child restraint of the type specified in the regulations is on the seat, the occupant classification sensor can detect it and cause the air bag to turn OFF.

Front passenger seat adult occupants who are properly seated and wearing the seat belt properly, should not cause the passenger air bag to be automatically turned OFF. For small adults it may be turned OFF, however, if the occupant does not sit in the seat properly (for example, by not sitting upright, by sitting on the edge of the seat, or by otherwise being out of position), this could cause the sensor to turn the air bag OFF.

You will find the “PASSENGER AIR BAG OFF” indicator on the overhead console. This system detects the conditions 1-4 in the following table and activates or deactivates the front passenger air bag based on these conditions.

Always be sure that you and all vehicle occupants are seated properly and wearing the seat belt properly for the most effective protection by the air bag and the seat belt.

Never install a Child Restraint System in the front passenger’s seat. If you should install a CRS (Child Restraint System) inevitably, use a forward-facing CRS with 3-point ALR safety seat belt and adjust the front passenger’s seat as far to the rear as possible. If the PASSENGER AIR BAG “OFF” indicator is OFF after a CRS (Child Restraint System) is equipped, the front passenger’s airbag is operating so you should install the CRS in the rear seats of the vehicle immediately.

The OCS may not function properly if the passenger takes actions which can affect the classification system. These include:

  • Failing to sit in an upright position.
  • Leaning against the door or center console.
  • Sitting towards the sides of the front of the seat.
  • Putting their legs on the dashboard or resting them on other locations which reduce the passenger weight on the front seat.
  • Wearing the seat belt improperly.
  • Reclining the seatback.
  • Wearing a thick cloth like ski wear or hip protection wear.
  • Putting an additional thick cushion on the seat.
  • Putting electrical devices (e.g. notebook, satellite radio) on the seat with inverter charging.

Condition and operation in the front passenger Occupant Classification System


Riding in an improper position or placing weight on the front passenger’s seat when it is unoccupied by a passenger adversely affects the OCS. To reduce the risk of serious injury or death:

NEVER put a heavy load in the front seat or seatback pocket, or hang any items on the front passenger seat.

NEVER place your feet on the front passenger seatback.

NEVER sit with your hips shifted towards the front of the seat.

NEVER ride with the seatback reclined when the vehicle is moving.

NEVER place your feet or legs on the dashboard.

NEVER lean on the door or center console or sit on one side of the front passenger seat.

Do not sit on the passenger seat wearing heavily padded clothes such as ski wear and hip protector.

Do not use car seat accessories such as thick blankets and cushions which cover up the car seat surface.

Do not place electronic devices such as laptops, DVD player, or conductive materials such as water bottles on the passenger seat.

Do not use electronic devices such as laptops and satellite radios which use inverter chargers.

If large quantity of liquid has been spilled on the passenger seat, the air bag warning light may illuminate or malfunction.

Therefore, make sure the seat has been completely dried before driving the vehicle.

  • Do not place sharp objects on the front passenger seat. These may damage the occupant detection system, if they puncture the seat cushion.
  • Do not place any items under the front passenger seat.
  • When changing or replacing the seat or seat cover, use original items only. The OCS has been developed based on using original HYUNDAI car seats only. Altering or changing the authentic parts may result in system malfunction and increase risk of injury when in collision. Any of the above could interfere with the proper operation of the OCS sensor thereby increasing the risk of an injury in an accident.

Proper seated position for OCS

If the “PASSENGER AIR BAG OFF” indicator is on when an adult is seated in the front passenger seat, place the Engine Start/Stop button in the OFF position and ask the passenger to sit properly (sitting upright with the seat back in an upright position, centered on the seat cushion with their seat belt on, legs comfortably extended and their feet on the floor). Restart the engine and have the person remain in that position. This will allow the system to detect the person and to enable the passenger air bag. If the “PASSENGER AIR BAG OFF” indicator is still on, ask the passenger to move to the rear seat.


NEVER allow an adult passenger to ride in the front passenger seat when the “PASSENGER AIR BAG OFF” indicator is illuminated. During a collision, the air bag will not inflate if the indicator is illuminated. Have your passenger reposition themselves in the seat. If the “PASSENGER AIR BAG OFF” indicator remains illuminated after the passenger repositions themselves properly and the vehicle is restarted, have the passenger move to the rear seat because the air bag will not inflate.


The “PASSENGER AIR BAG OFF” indicator generally illuminates for approximately 4 seconds after the Engine Start/Stop button is in the ON position or after the engine is started. However, if the ignition switch or Engine Start/Stop button is turned to the ON position within 3 minutes after ignition OFF, the indicator does not illuminate. If the front passenger seat is occupied, the OCS will then classify the front passenger after several more seconds.

Do Not Install a Child Restraint in the Front Passenger’s Seat

Even though your vehicle is equipped with the OCS, never install a child restraint in the front passenger’s seat. An inflating air bag can forcefully strike a child or child restraint resulting in serious or fatal injury.


  • NEVER place a rear-facing or frontfacing child restraint in the front passenger’s seat of the vehicle.
  • An inflating frontal air bag could forcefully strike a child resulting in serious injury or death.
  • Always properly restrain children in an appropriate child restraint in the rear seat of the vehicle.

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